Letting go (just a bit…)

I have been putting off a confession:

I have no holiday sales planned this year.

tree silhouette

That is a scary sentence. I’m a creative person, working in a form (jewelry) that’s pretty marketable, pretty gift-able. I have a history of being able to bring in some income from my work. The holidays are the most profitable shopping season of the entire year. How could I not do anything? Well, a few months ago, “you have to” had a big ol’ battle with the “I don’t want to” in my head. And this year “I don’t want to” had more back-up than usual.

Even back in August, my schedule didn’t have a lot of free time. I didn’t have the money to get materials, send out postcards, and buy the refreshments that I like to have to be a good hostess. The profitability of my efforts for the last year or two has not been good. Too often I’ve slaved away, cranking production stuff out, and in the end, just broke even on my expenses. That meant I wasn’t getting paid for my time. So was that how I wanted to spend it?

Production work has been really uninspiring for me lately. Precious time spent making things I’ve already made many times before, guessing what will sell. Too often I felt like I guessed wrong. I’ve become frustrated with setting aside my latest, newly inspired work just because there isn’t time to bring it to fruition before a deadline. I’m tired of pulling some exciting work together, just in time, only to see that the marketplace is completely uninterested. I’m tired of being disappointed in myself because I put something out there that wasn’t fully realized. Mostly, I just couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of buckling down and becoming a slave to the time schedule that I knew would be required. “I don’t want to” just dug in it’s heels, teamed up with the more contrarian aspects of my nature, had a little hissy fit, and “you have to” got smacked down. And I so just let go….

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  1. Congratulations on making what sounds like a fabulous decision. There will be more holidays, and there will be more opportunities to sell your jewelry. If preparing for holiday sales isn’t satisfying you now, I say don’t do it. Why kill yourself to break even? Enjoy working on the pieces that are inspiring you, and enjoy the time and energy that you’ll gain from letting the “I don’t want to” win for once!

  2. Thanks for the support and the reminder that there will be more opportunities in the future. At first this was a really hard decision, because I really didn’t want to be “giving up.” Ironically, now that the holidays are almost here, I feel really good about things, and I’m almost looking forward to next year!;)

  3. …those are the same thoughts i deal with. (even though i’ve never actually had a “sale”.) the thought of making things because you have to, totally takes the fun and creativity out of it. everything i make, i want to keep for myself–i know that sounds selfish, but i know i’ll never make anything close to the amount of money i should make, and who wants to work for free??!
    …if we could only charge hourly.
    ps–i bet it’s a huge relief to not feel any of the pressure…

  4. It HAS been a big relief! It totally feels like it was the right thing to do. I agree that it’s hard to not keep everything when one is really investing all one’s creative juices. But I do think that there are ways of working on getting past that, which is probably worth it’s own post. Also the question of selling something for what we FEEL that it’s worth, rather than what person A or person B is willing to spend on it. I do sort of think that we should be charging hourly, in a sense. Perhaps my perspective is somewhat skewed by the recent walls I’ve been running into, successful sales-wise, but maybe I’ll put more of my thoughts out there and see if you all can help me work on my strategy! 😉


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